Ford Auto Hold System Fault Message: Causes and Fixes

If you own or drive the 2021 Ford Escape, you must have seen the Hold System Fault message at least once. Especially, if your car has hit high mileage, an auto hold system fault can come up. The issue rarely comes up when the car is at low mileage.  

Let’s examine what the auto-hold is and why it is not available and displays the auto hold system fault message.

What Does the Auto Hold System Fault message Mean?

The auto-hold system fault message comes up whenever there’s a problem with the vehicle’s auto-hold system. What is the auto-hold system and how does it work? The auto hold is a system in your Ford that automatically keeps it at a full stop even without you pressing the brake pedal.

The vehicle remains in the stop position until you hit your foot on the gas pedal. This feature is useful when you’re in a stop-and-go situation, usually in heavy traffic. The auto-hold system also helps when you’re waiting at the traffic lights. At least, that’ll help you comfortably relax your foot for a few minutes. As you engage the Auto hold, the rear lights remain turned on. 

To use the Auto Hold, there are a few steps to take:

  • Hit the Auto Hold button located on the instrument cluster to turn on the system. You can also use the console to turn the feature on
  • When on, the Auto Hold icon will illuminate the instrument cluster, indicating that the system is on.
  • Hit your foot on the brake pedal. This will cause your vehicle to come to a complete stop.
  • Take your foot off the brake pedal 
  • The vehicle will remain still in one position until you press the gas pedal. 

Why Auto Hold System is Unavailable 

 When the auto hold system isn’t working or becomes unavailable, there are a few things to suspect.

  • Not enough pressure on the brakes: You need to apply enough pressure to the brake pedal if you’re on a steep or incline hill. Otherwise, the auto-hold system won’t be active.
  • Unfastened driver seatbelt: The auto hold won’t be active if the seatbelt isn’t fastened or fastened well. 
  • Open car door: Car doors left half-closed or open will cause the system not to activate
  • Transmission in neutral mode: auto-hold-system-fault message may appear when the transmission is in reverse gear.
  • Active park assist maneuver
  • Reverse transmission before auto hold becomes active

However, you may notice that the auto hold system fault warning sign appears on your car’s instrument cluster. There are several reasons why this can happen. But an unavailable auto hold doesn’t necessarily cause the message to appear.  

The auto hold failure warning sign can display if there’s low power getting to the system supply of power. It doesn’t matter if the auto hold is activated. You must take the auto hold system malfunction warning message seriously. Doing this will prevent damage to your car or injury to you. 

How Best to Use the Auto Hold system

There are tips to efficiently use and enjoy the auto hold system and extend its life. After all, you can control the auto hold system the same way you do your Ford on the pavement. 

  • Make sure you switch off the auto hold before parking in a garage or taking your Ford to a car wash
  • Monitor and regulate the auto hold to prevent accidents to cars and injuries to you
  • Ensure you check your car or take it out for service once the auto hold fault message appears
  • Fasten your seatbelt when as soon as you start your car and before taking off
  • Close all doors to enable the auto-hold system 
  • Apply the regular car brakes when needed. The auto hold doesn’t replace the parking brake.

When the Auto Hold system is unavailable, there are warning messages to look out for. Now, let’s look at the messages and the action to follow.

Auto Hold System Fault message Interpretation
Auto Hold System FailureThere is a fault that requires car service
Auto Hold Not WorkingShows when the system isn’t available
Auto Hold System Fault Press BrakeComes on when auto-hold is active. Requires you to fully press your brake pedal
Auto Hold Close Door To EnableRequires you to close all car doors to activate
Auto Hold Fasten Seatbelt To EnableRequires you to fasten your seatbelt to activate
Auto Hold Press Brake and Switch To ReleaseRequires you to put your foot on your brake pedal and also press the auto hold button to turn the system off. Often shows when the auto-hold is available


Can I drive with the Hold System Fault?

Yes, it is not dangerous to drive with the auto hold system fault. Typically, the auto hold will disengage when it sees a fault. Besides, your car’s regular and emergency brakes should still work. Check if the emergency brake still engages. However, if you have the auto hold fault checked asap, you can prevent damage to your vehicle. 

Will Ford Auto Hold Fault Happen at 1500 miles?

There’s no fixed answer or any hard and fast rules about it. However, it’s very rare to experience an auto hold system fault at 1,500 mileage. Whatever the case, you should take the car to your dealer. They can perform a diagnosis on the system module and detect the codes. Based on the codes, the dealer can come up with an accurate result on what is failing. From there, they will troubleshoot and resolve the issue. In the interim, an auto hold fault should be covered under your 2021 Escape warranty.

Final Thoughts

The auto hold system is a vital aspect of safety in driving. While it isn’t an alternative to the regular parking brakes, the auto hold can hold your car when necessary. The auto hold isn’t the same as the hill-start assist feature either. Make sure you diagnose any problem in your ford auto hold system. Because the auto hold works with your Ford’s ABS, you may spend between $500 and $1000. Labor cost can cost as much as $20 to $170. I hope this article helps you.

  • James Smith

    I'm James Smith, a car enthusiast and a content writer for Daily Car Tips. I have a passion for all things cars, from classic muscle cars to the latest electric vehicles. When I'm not writing about cars, you can usually find me tinkering with my car or checking out the latest automotive trends.

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